Srinagar, Oct 9: The Coordination Committee, heading the present movement in Kashmir, today urged people to stage peaceful pro-freedom protests after Friday prayers and observe civil curfew on Saturday to protest the Prime Minister's visit to the state. Sources said the committee decided October 27 as the next date of Lal Chowk march but its announcement wasn't made.
Chairman of Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who addressed a news conference after a marathon meeting of the Coordination Committee, an amalgam of various pro-freedom parties including both Hurriyat factions, traders, lawyers, transporters and members of the civil society, at Mirwaiz Manzil here, said, "None of the constituents of the CC are against talks," but, "history stands testimony to the fact that till date bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan, and Kashmir leadership and New Delhi have not yielded any results. Indian Prime Minister in his recent speech at United Nations said that India was committed for Kashmir resolution, but there was no mention of Kashmiris who are a basic party to the dispute in his speech."
Mirwaiz asked New Delhi to make its stand clear whether it wants to carry on with its "military approach" or it wants to settle the Kashmir issue politically. "India's claim of being the largest democracy has proved to be a hoax. It has snatched the basic democratic right of the Kashmiris by not allowing them to stage peaceful protests. Imposition of curfew, firing on peaceful protesters and arresting pro-freedom leaders proves that New Delhi is insincere," he said, adding, "We want to make it clear that dialogue and atrocities cannot go together. If New Delhi really wants to resolve this issue then ground situation has to improve."
In a sarcastic tone, the Hurriyat (M) chairman said that the "so-called largest democracy" is not ready to give any political space to the people of Kashmir as the mass peaceful protests have "unnerved them." "Lakhs of people assembling in Eidgah was a referendum and it should have served as an eye opener for India."
While giving the details of the today's meeting, Mirwaiz said that representatives of all the parties deliberated upon the present political scenario and the ways and methods resorted to by the state to suppress the peaceful agitation. "We urge the people to observe civil curfew on Saturday and show it to the Prime Minister of India that voice of Kashmiris cannot be muzzled by resorting to repressive tactics," he said, adding "People should follow CC program of holding peaceful pro-freedom protests after Friday prayers tomorrow."
Referring to the Lal Chowk march which was foiled by the authorities on October 6 by imposing Valley-wide curfew for two days, Mirwaiz said, "Lal Chowk march stands and the next date for it would be announced soon."
According to the sources the next date of the Lal Chowk march would be decided in the next meeting of the CC. "The CC is likely to ask people to reach Lal Chowk on October 27," the sources added.
Mirwaiz said that during today's meeting it was decided that employees would donate their one day's salary for the families of the more than 50 victims who died in police and CRPF firing during recent protests, and for the treatment of the injured persons who are recuperating in various hospitals. "Representatives of various trade union organizations and employees federation assured us that employees would do the needful to help the victims," he said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir later, Mirwaiz urged the intelligentsia to come forward and put forth their views. "We want to get opinion from all the sections of the society for taking the movement forward. I earnestly appeal the writers, scholars and other members of the civil society to come forward and help us by putting forth their suggestions," he added.
Mirwaiz said the next meeting of the Coordination Committee would be held on October 13 to finalize the strategy for October 27, the day when Indian troopers landed in Kashmir in 1947.